It’s rare that a tool for enlightenment takes the form of a fun impulse gift, but the Original Dog Tarot is a remarkable rarity: A spiritual stocking-stuffer to help “divine the Canine Mind.” If there are folks on your holiday gift list who, like me, are into the tarot, it’s a perfect present.

But this unique and charmingly illustrated tarot deck also makes a wonderful gift for someone who’s never experienced the insights offered by a reading — just for its lovely reminder that dogs make the best spirit guides.

This is not a traditional tarot deck, mind you. Unlike the classic 78-card deck, this one comprises only 30 cards. But what’s there is choice, and very lovingly thought out by its creator, Heidi Schulman, who’s inspired by her beloved adopted mutts Bosco and Tillie. “It teaches people to be more like dogs,” Schulman says of her deck, which offers profound words of wisdom despite its tongue-in-jowl ‘tude.

The Fool is an important figure in the traditional tarot deck as well as this one — only here, the Fool isn’t one of the Major Arcana: He’s one of the … Major Barkana!

As the text on Schulman’s Fool card reads: “The Fool is the essence of dogness, a free-spirited creature that lives in the eternal present. Past and future are of no concern. The fool is innocent, spontaneous, optimistic, open to experience … when you draw the Fool, you are being asked to put aside your own concerns and support your dog’s essentially foolish nature. The card can also represent a new start in life, for you and for your dog. The message for humans who draw this card is: Release old conditioning and embrace life to its fullest. You may hold the leash, but the key to happiness lies in trying to be like your dog.”

Now, that’s doggie divination anyone can relate to, whether or not they set store by the tarot. Woof!

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